Thursday, January 04, 2018

This and that: presidents, hating Hillary, and asylum for queers

Oddments that don't warrant a full blog post but on which I will not resist commenting:

Happy New Year! Time to start speculating about 2020.
A Politico article Tuesday morning on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “below-the-radar moves that would put her in prime position to run for president” is just the latest example. Beyond Warren, there’s a lot of conjecture, naturally, on the Democratic side: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden lead in a hypothetical 2020 field, and have done nothing — as of yet — to quash any suspicions of possible runs.

Vox, January 3

Just stop it NOW! We have an ignorant maniac in power threatening nuclear war, and elections in November that provide our best chance of reining him in, and you want to gossip about potential 2020 candidates?

Besides, although if any of these three win the nomination in 2020 I'll work for them, they should all take themselves out of the running right now and help the Democratic Party accomplish a generational transition. The Silents and the Boomers are done. The future and the country belong younger citizens; we need a younger standard bearer.

Then there's this from Jonah Goldberg a senior editor of the conservative National Review, who remains an anti-Trumper and tries to explain why most of his conservative peers have been assimilated by the Orange Cheato:

... people did not like Hillary Clinton. They just didn’t like her. And whatever you thought of Bill Clinton—Lord knows I wasn’t a fan—everyone could recognize his political skills. I mean, that guy, you could pull him off an intern, slap him with a flounder, and say, “Give me 45 minutes on intellectual property rights in the Third World,” and he could just go. Hillary Clinton’s idea of extemporaneous speaking was leaping from her prepared remarks to prepared notecards. She’s the lady who says no eating in the library. She was also seen as much more left wing than her husband. Fair or no.

But what Trump doesn’t understand, what Steve Bannon doesn’t understand, is that Donald Trump’s mandate was: Don’t be Hillary Clinton. He accomplished that on Day One. Some part of his brain understands that, which is why I guarantee you that in the last 48 hours, Donald Trump has tweeted something about Hillary Clinton. Sean Hannity has done some raging scandal about Hillary Clinton. Psychologically, one of the things these guys have to do to justify their support for Trump is to remind people constantly, “You could have had Hillary.”

Interview with the Atlantic's other Goldberg, Jan. 2

I've never managed to comprehend the depth and widespread hatred of Hillary Clinton. To me she was just another very imperfect, dangerously bellicose, Democratic politician. Not someone I loved, but not someone to feel serious animus toward. Yet apparently I failed to grasp something so powerful that it is one of the main props of Trump-adulation among Republicans, a force in itself alongside racism and sexism that Goldberg neglects to point out. The phrases I've emphasized highlight the sexist heart of their Hillary hate: she's the despised overbearing mother figure who tried to make them eat their veggies as unbridled little boys. Kind of pathetic actually.

And then there was this almost-good news nugget: in reporting for the New Yorker on the terrible tortures of gay people in Chechnya and the brave LGBT Russian network that is trying to help victims flee for their lives, Masha Gessen assembled a list of countries that DO treat physical threats to homosexuals as grounds for asylum.

In general, the U.S. has been one of the half-dozen countries that are reasonably likely to grant asylum to people persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity—a small subset of the very small number of countries that welcome asylum seekers at all. (Other countries in the select group that grant asylum to L.G.B.T. people include [Canada], South Africa, Belgium, Argentina, the Netherlands, and Sweden). For now, L.G.B.T. asylum seekers are still faring well in the U.S., but the application process takes years, and, with the Trump Administration reshaping this country’s immigration landscape, it’s hard to imagine this country welcoming many Muslim gay men, even when they are fleeing mortal danger.

I guess I'm just a jaded old lesbian. I would not have been surprised if there were no destinations for targets of this persecution.


Celia said...

All the Hillary hatred has been a puzzle to me. Feels misogynistic to me too. tRump seems to live to hate somebody.

Rain Trueax said...

I didn't hate her, voted for her with no real choice, but I didn't like her. She covered for her husband with his sexual predations, she valued money too much, hence her catering to the Hollywood elites and what she did to become wealthy (maybe even pay for play). I didn't trust she'd do what she said she'd do (of course, many don't). I didn't see her as a nice person but rather one who treated those in power differently than those not. That said, what was my choice in '16? I just hope for better choices in '20. I would like new voices, who strongly believe in what they say. Would be nice for a change.

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